Protect yourself and others this flu season
The flu affects 10 to 25 per cent of Canadians each year. You can play an active role in staying healthy and preventing the spread of influenza, whether it’s the seasonal flu that circulates each winter or pandemic influenza, like the H1N1 flu virus.
Protect yourself and your family, and help stop the spread of the flu virus by following a few simple steps:
- Clean your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. Remember to wash before and after eating, after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after touching surfaces that may have been contaminated by other people.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue, or the bend of your elbow. If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands immediately.
- Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. This includes seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines. For information about flu shots, and dates and locations of vaccination clinics, call Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health at 519-846-2715 x 4161 or visit www.wdghu.org.
- Stay home if you feel sick. Limit your contact with others to prevent spreading your illness.
- Keep shared surface areas clean. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards, and toys.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fatigue, severe headache, sore throat, and lack of appetite. For H1N1 flu, some people have reported vomiting and diarrhea. Although most people recover in five to seven days, some people will have severe illness. If your symptoms do not improve, see your doctor.
If you get the flu, you should increase the amount of fluids you drink (water, juice, soup) and get plenty of rest.
About the H1N1 flu virus
H1N1 flu is a respiratory illness that causes symptoms similar to seasonal flu. If you experience severe flu-like symptoms, talk to a health professional.
This year you will need to get vaccinated against seasonal flu and H1N1 flu. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is holding several free seasonal and H1N1 flu clinics in Guelph and Wellington County.
For more information about seasonal flu or H1N1 flu, call Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health at 519-846-2715 x 4161 or go to www.wdghu.org.